A Novel

eBook - 2014
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"In the second volume of the Southern Reach Trilogy, questions are answered, stakes are raised, and mysteries are deepened. In Annihilation, Jeff VanderMeer introduced Area X--a remote and lush terrain mysteriously sequestered from civilization. This was the first volume of a projected trilogy; well in advance of publication, translation rights had already sold around the world and a major movie deal had been struck. Just months later, Authority, the second volume, is here. For thirty years, the only human engagement with Area X has taken the form of a series of expeditions monitored by a secret agency called the Southern Reach. After the disastrous twelfth expedition chronicled in Annihilation, the Southern Reach is in disarray, and John Rodriguez, aka "Control," is the team's newly appointed head. From a series of interrogations, a cache of hidden notes, and hours of profoundly troubling video footage, the secrets of Area X begin to reveal themselves--and what they expose pushes Control to confront disturbing truths about both himself and the agency he's promised to serve. And the consequences will spread much further than that. The Southern Reach trilogy will conclude in fall 2014 with Acceptance"--
"In the second volume of the Southern Reach trilogy, Area X's most troubling questions are answered ... but the answers are far from reassuring"--
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780374710781
Characteristics: 1 online resource (341 pages).

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Oct 17, 2018

No spoilers.
I was interested in this trilogy from the movie. The first book, Annihilation, was a well written story that provided more detail than the film. The second book, however, is written in such an odd, monotone way, that I honestly found it a chore to read. There was lots of added detail and internal monologue that didn't end up going anywhere, leaving more questions in my mind about what the Southern Reach is all about.

I'm picking up the third book just to mentally wrap up the series, but for me, the film did the Southern Reach trilogy justice by making sense of the written sci-fi-ness and presenting it in a realistic, believable, two-hour compact script.

Aug 13, 2018

This second book of the trilogy has a different setting as the protagonists are in Southern Reach on the border with Area X. Though still somewhat surreal there is a little more logic and we get a better idea of what is going on. Would of preferred this as the first book and Annihilation as the second even with a non linear story. Worth it if you are interested and can start the trilogy here or with Annihilation.

Jul 19, 2018


Some surprises in this second of three books about the Southern Reach government project and its focus: the mysterious Area X.

1. A brand new central character. In fact, a whole HOST of new characters, mostly Southern Reach staff people, as seemingly enigmatic as the previous novel's expedition members.

2. A change of focus, too. It's not Area X that's the focus, as it was in the first book: it's the Southern Reach organization itself.

3. The last 50 pages. Forewarned: Not at all what you expect. You'll RACE through these pages.

There IS, by now, some more of what we've come to expect given the first novel: more internal angst and anguish. Not, this time, so much about Area X and doomed expedition characters, but about the central character, whose title--Ironically--Is "Control." Of course, there IS no control.

It's a somewhat easier book for modern (20th and 21st century) readers to enjoy than the first book. Still, for some it'll be agonizingly slow.

Good enough--compelling enough at the finale--to reach for volume three...

Jul 13, 2018

Excellent continuation of the Southern Reach trilogy. Takes a completely different direction than Annihilation which threw me for a bit of a loop. Could hardly put this book down and look forward to reading Acceptance when I get the chance.

Jul 13, 2018

The first book Annihilation was intriguing but this sequel, set almost entirely at the facility just outside Area X, is mildly-paranoid Orwellian monotony. We do learn a few more backstory details, but nothing much happens and almost all the characters are emotionally-stunted and/or slightly unhinged. Perhaps it is setting things up for the 3rd book instead of just filler extending two books into a trilogy.

Jun 21, 2018

I looked forward to reading the second book of the Southern Reach Trilogy after blasting through the first book, "Annihilation". As many have pointed out, the second book is written differently than the first, more of a mystery-type story than the exploration-type story of the "Biologist". The story line bogged down and became disjointed at times, but the author's writing approach is "explained" as you follow the progression of the second book's main character, "Control. As any second book of a trilogy should do, the connection to the first book and set-up for the third is properly made. Looking forward to how Jeff Vandermeer will bring the story to a "close".

KateHillier Apr 16, 2018

More of a deep dive into the Southern Reach itself instead of a true follow up to Annihilation. You learn a bit more about the expeditions and some of the characters from the previous book but I think we really needed to know all this before whatever awaits in the next book. So it's interesting but I'm more interested in what's coming

Jan 19, 2018

Oh, wow. Wow. Okay. So this book was like, a 2-star read from me for a long while. I didn't like the 'knowingness' of it all, the names, the people, the banal day by day where you still get no information. But something kept me going- the possibility that VanderMeer wanted me in a slow tumble into the mundane before he released the strangeness of Annihilation back upon me.

If you find yourself wondering what the point is of this novel, keep going. Keep reading. The wonderful, terrifying truths that are revealed (or not revealed, I guess? I still have all the same questions) are worth the comparative slow normality of Authority compared Annihilation.

Overall, this is a great bridge book, really one that I felt served to set up book 3, Acceptance. You need to be invested to make this one work, I think, but I was invested and it is 100% worth it.

Mar 27, 2017

VanderMeer delivers again - he writes with excellent precision and control, and yet always leaves out just enough crucial data to keep us needing to look over our shoulder...
The narrator in this case has a lot more information at his fingertips but might not be trustworthy in his telling, and there is much more lurking out there.

Jul 27, 2016

Absorbing & intriguing. The book has strong messages about environmentalism and individuality.

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Jun 21, 2018

rrobichaud65 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Apr 19, 2017

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May 08, 2015

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